The E.V T.V Show

…the food I make, the plants I grow, and the items I create.


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Dad’s Favorite Lemon Meringue Pie

My father and I love lemon meringue pie. There is just something about the tangy sweetness that get’s us every time. At the end of a heavy meal, this light refreshing dessert acts as a palate cleanser. Served along side a shot of espresso, I am revived and ready to concur the dishes! A few years ago, I began to bake this dessert for holiday parties. I enjoy offering this as a low calorie alternative at the dessert table.Did you know that a 1 oz slice of pie is about 80 calories! Do you offer a unique dessert at your holiday parties? Share below!!

ingredients 

Yield: 1 nine inch pie          Total Time: ~3 hrs, includes some cooling time
  •  1 graham cracker pie crust
Lemon Filling
  • 4 egg yolks – save the whites for the meringue
  • 3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups of fine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Meringue
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp fine sugar

directions

Lemon Filling 
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1 cup of sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk together.
  • Add water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract
  • Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture, also known as curd, comes to a boil. Stir constantly!
  • Stir in butter.
  • Add the egg yolks to a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the sugar mixture. Once you have added about half of the sugar mixture to the egg yolks, return the contents of the bowl to the sauce pan. Reduce heat to low
  • Cook the curd on low until it is nice and thick – depending on your stove top and preferences this can take up to 15 minutes. Make sure your stove top is set to low. If you need to, add a heat diffuser to reduce heat.
  • Once the mixture is thick enough, pour it into the pie shell.
  • Cover the entire filling with meringue – taking care to seal the edges. See below for meringue instructions.
  • Place in on a rack in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until pie is golden brown.
  • Allow the pie to cool for 2 hours, or until you can comfortably touch the underside of the pie pan.
For the Meringue
  • Using either a hand held mixer or a stand mixer, begin to beat your egg whites on low. Gradually increase the speed and beat on high for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract
  • Beat for another minute
  • Gradually add the sugar and beat for until you have stiff peaks. Check every few minutes – you do not want to over beat!
  • To test your peaks, turn your whisk upside down. The meringue should cling to the whisk and hold their peak without collapsing.


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Chocolate Lava Cake: My Go-To Dessert Recipe

plated cake

Chocolate Lava Cake

This past weekend, we had a few big celebrations in our house. As I felt the tingling urge to indulge in good cheer – I realized I had only a a few moments to whip something up.

I am not always the best at planning ahead.

So I defaulted, as usual, to my go-to dessert recipe – Chocolate Lava Cake.

This recipe calls for ingredients I generally keep on hand and is delicious.

Doll them up with fresh fruit, fruit compote, or home-made whipped cream. For an extra special treat, pair this dessert with a delicious local Port.

ingredients

Yield: 2-3 cakes      Time: ~35 min
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for muffin tin and serving
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • 1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 ounce bittersweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • nonstick spray

directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray your muffin tin with a nonstick spray, such as PAM.
  • Dust the muffin tin with confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments. Use a whisk or fork to stir after each increment.
  • While the butter and chocolate is melting, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Once the chocolate mixture is melted whisk it into the egg mixture to combine. Add flour, and whisk just until combined – take care to not overmix.
  • Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Make sure you fill the empty muffin tins with water so that your lava cakes cook evenly.
  • Bake until the top has just set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 5-6 minutes. It is better to under-bake than over-bake!
  • Cool cakes for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Use a knife to loosen the cakes and serve inverted immediately top with Raspberry Mint Compote.


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Caramelized Brussels Sprout Salad

Roasted anything is delicious. Roasted brussels sprouts is hands down the most delicious of all! Their little leaves become crispy like potato chips.

Drizzled in maple syrup and sprinkled with chili powder, this smokey sweet treat is perfect. By turning a traditionally hot dish into a salad, you are able to make this ahead for parties or holidays. The red onion and feta cheese add depth bringing both the kids and the adults to the table.

CARAMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD

total time ~ 45 minutes  yield 4 servings

ingredients

  • 3 lbs of brussels sprouts halved – the key here is uniform size
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of cracked black pepper
  • 1 red onion – minced
  • balsamic glaze

directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. While the oven is preheating prepare the brussels sprouts. Using a sharp knife, cut off the woody end. Remove any damaged outer leaves and cut in half
  • Place the brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, chili powder, salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Place the brussels sprouts on a sheet pan and put in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Shake the pan every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. When the brussels sprouts are finished they will be slightly browned and crispy.
  • When the brussels sprouts are finished remove from the oven. Toss in a mixing bowl with the minced onion and 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the brussels sprouts to a serving bowl and top with feta cheese and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve along side your Thanksgiving dinner or as a side to any meal for an extra special pop!


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Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto with Browned Butter

Warm fall dishes fill the house with the aroma of the onions, garlic, and herb merry wonderfully with the roasted sweet potato drizzled in maple syrup. Savory yet sweet.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO RISOTTO WITH BROWNED BUTTER

total time ~1.5 hours yield 4 servings

ingredients

  • 3 cups of arborio rice
  • 3 small sweet potatoes – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme – minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram – minced
  • 1 tsp of cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Pinot Noir Reserve 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (hole nutmeg grated is preferred over powder)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions – finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of browned butter
  • 3 quarts of stock of your choice – I used chicken
  • maple syrup for drizzling

directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400F. While your oven is preheating, dice your sweet potatoes into quarter inch cubes.
  • Place the sweet potato in a mixing bowl and toss with the nutmeg, paprika, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, and some fresh ground pepper. I would say a few good turns of the grinder.
  • Spread the sweet potato on a roasting pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Shake the pan every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. At the 20 minute mark, drizzle maple syrup over the sweet potatoes before shaking. To know whether or not it is done feel for texture – soft yet slightly browned and crispy.
  • While the sweet potato is cooking, begin the risotto. Set a skillet over medium heat. Pour the stock in a sauce pan over medium – high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pan and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Turn down the stock pot so it is just under a simmer.Cook the onion and garlic until browned – about 5 minutes.
  • Once the onion and garlic have browned, deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of Pinot Noir Reserve. Add the herbs. Cook until the sauce is reduced in half. In the pan, melt the two tablespoons of butter.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the arborio rice. Toast the rice in the butter until it is translucent – about 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
  • Now start adding the stock a 1/3 of a cup at a time. Stir the rice until the stock is just barely absorbed before adding more. Note the time. After 20 minutes check rice. When done, it should still have some texture but no crunch. If you run out of stock, heat up a sauce pan of water.
  • Once the rice is cooked to your liking, stir in the finished sweet potatoes and browned butter.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in a large bowl. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


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SWEET POTATO CURRY

It is that time of year!

The oven is on and soup pots are simmering.You feel warm and cozy as sweet aromas fill the air.

This recipe is my favorite. It pulls in fall flavors but still has a few elements of the summer harvest.

Even though the recipe has several steps associated with it, it is a fairy simple.

Provided are a few options depending on your personal preferences. You can either combine them or eliminate all of them. It is up to you! I always say you should cook what you would want to eat.

 SWEET POTATO CURRY

total time ~ 1 hour  yield: 4 servings

ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 quart of stock (chicken or veggie is fine)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 large or 3 small zucchinis
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons of red curry
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsps salt – divided
  • 1 bunch of thai basil
  • 3 scallions
 
Option 1: Protein
  • 1 lb of ground meat – I used pork
  • 1 lb of shrimp – I would used cleaned and peeled shrimp
  • 1 container of tofu – prepare the tofu in your favorite fashion
  • 1 lb cooked shredded chicken breast

Option 2: Grain

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 cups of quinoa

Step 1: The Broth

  • Fill a medium stock pot with salted water and set over high heat
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes
  • Boil the potatoes until soft **While potatoes are cooking skip ahead to step 2**
  • Drain potatoes and return back to pot
  • Add 1 quart of stock
  • Bring back to boil
  • Turn off and cool slightly. Blend until smooth

Step 2: The veggies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • Cube zucchini into ½ inch cubes
  • Peel eggplant and cube into ½ inch cubes
  • toss with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp salt
  • Place vegetables on roasting pan and place in heated oven until cooked or approximately 30-40 minutes **While veggies are roasting complete step 1 or skip ahead to step 3**

Step 3: The Protein

  • Mince or finely chop onion and garlic and set aside
  • Place skillet or cast iron over medium heat.
  • Once it is heated – add a little butter, margarine, or cooking oil and begin to slowly add your protein
  • If you are using shrimp they will cook fairly quickly – 3 to 4 minutes – so be watchful. They are done once they are firm and a pretty pink color.
  • If you are using ground meat – then begin to saute until cooked approximately 10 minutes
  • Remove protein from skillet and set aside
  • In the same skillet add the onion and garlic and saute until brown.
  • Remove onion and garlic and set aside

Step 4: Bringing it all Together

  • Into the broth add the roasted vegetables, cooked protein, and the sauted onions and garlic
  • Add the can of coconut milk
  • Add all of the remaining spices and sugar
  • Bring to a boil and allow to cook for a about 10 minutes to combine flavors

Plate this hearty curry over a grain of your choice. Garnish with thai basil and/or scallions. Serve with a glass of Unionville Vineyard’s Dry Riesling.